KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — The view of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah that Parliament can convene during the Emergency period proves that His Majesty prioritises supremacy of the Constitution, UMNO information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan said.
Shahril Sufian said every branch of the country’s democratic system must abide by the principles of the Rukun Negara, including the government (Executive).
He described Al-Sultan Abdullah’s wisdom as proof of his role as the head of state who protects his subjects by placing the parliamentary democracy system at the very highest level.
In a statement issued here tonight, he said the view that Parliament can reconvene is in line with the intention to preserve the role of legislative oversight or check and balance by members of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.
Sharil Sufian said this stance had prompted the UMNO leadership before this to call for a solution that would allow parliament to sit without disregarding His Majesty’s decree on the Emergency Proclamation.
Earlier today, Al-Sultan Abdullah has expressed the view that Parliament may convene during the Emergency period on a date deemed appropriate by His Majesty, based on the advice of the prime minister.
According to the Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the matter was enshrined in subparagraph 14 (1) (b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 which states that Parliament should be called, prorogued and dissolved on a date as deemed appropriate by His Majesty on the advice of the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said Al-Sultan Abdullah can choose a suitable date for Parliament to reconvene.
“In actual fact, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the authority to call for Parliament to convene without even being advised by the Prime Minister, what more during a state of Emergency,” Tengku Razaleigh, who is UMNO Advisory Council chairman, claimed.
On Jan 12, Al-Sultan Abdullah proclaimed a COVID-19 Emergency, to be enforced up to Aug 1, as a proactive measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders said Al-Sultan Abdullah’s view was in line with the Opposition coalition’s stance and the majority of MPs.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guang Eng said that at a time when the Executive and the Judiciary can function while the Emergency is being enforced, Parliament must also continue to play a role in ensuring governance is preserved and there is continuity of the check and balance process.
Therefore, they will fully support His Majesty’s view for Parliament to convene during the Emergency, the PH leaders said in a joint statement.